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ACFRE Board Announces Change to ACFRE Application Process

(Sept. 15, 2008) Individuals who have earned the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential will no longer have to be recertified as a CFRE before they can begin applying for the ACFRE (Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive) credential.

Previously, a fundraiser with the CFRE credential was required to recertify at least once before becoming eligible to begin the ACFRE certification process. However, that requirement was recently eliminated through a vote by the ACFRE Certification Board.

Carl Manfield, ACFRE, chair of the ACFRE Board, noted several reasons for the change in requirements. First, advanced professionals who have earned the CFRE later in their career will no longer have to await recertification and are already likely “ready” to pursue the ACFRE.

Similarly, there is an increased number of for-profit professionals who have entered the nonprofit sector mid-career, who have advanced degrees as well as 10 years of development experience, and therefore do not need to renew their CFRE before being "qualified" as an ACFRE candidate.

The ACFRE Board also wishes to encourage people to earn the ACFRE mid-career rather than later in their career.

Applicants are still required to hold the CFRE or FAHP certification and need to demonstrate that they have a minimum of 10 years of full-time professional fundraising experience before they can begin the ACFRE certification process.

The ACFRE program is the most rigorous certification process available to professional fundraisers, requiring successful achievement of several challenges. To be eligible to receive the ACFRE, a potential candidate must meet the following qualifications:

  • Currently hold the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential or be a current Fellow, Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (FAHP);
  • Adhere to AFP's Code of Ethical Principles and Standards and the Donor Bill of Rights;
  • Minimum 10 years of full-time professional fundraising experience at the time of application;
  • BS/BA degree or equivalent experience;
  • Participation within the previous five years in at least 15 contact hours of senior-level management and 15 contact hours of senior-level leadership seminars and/or courses. Academic courses and/or writing for the profession may be considered;
  • Participation within the previous five years in at least five hours of continuing education in fundraising ethics;
  • Membership and active participation in a field-related professional organization, with demonstrated volunteer service to nonprofit organizations.

A candidate must complete a comprehensive application, detailing his or her achievements in practice, education, publishing and service to the profession. Other aspects of the certification process include a written examination, a portfolio representing the candidate's body of professional work and an oral peer review in which the candidate must articulate a mastery of advanced level knowledge in fundraising management, leadership and ethics.

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